Smoke, the Texified restaurant that's been serving West Dallas for nearly 10 years, has been sold to the Belmont Hotel.
Smoke will remain open through the end of the day Dec. 16, with chef Tim Byres' existing menu. It is not known what will happen to the restaurant after that, though outgoing Smoke co-owner Chris Zielke believes it will be part of a hotel remodel. Reps from the Belmont Hotel have not returned requests for comment.
"We have been in talks with the hotel for a long time, since they bought it in 2015," Zielke says. "We didn't plan to close, but we still have six years left on our lease, and they decided to buy us out."
"We're happy for the nice run we had and happy for a nice exit. I'm sure there's great things for the Belmont coming up," Zielke says.
When Smoke opened in 2009, then-critic Leslie Brenner called it "the Dallas restaurant of my dreams." Like the name suggests, the restaurant was focused smoked anything — a tangential version of barbecue, with a sit-down, cheffed-up twist. The restaurant spawned a sibling Smoke restaurant in Plano, which was open from 2015 to 2017.
Dishes like charbroiled oysters; cabrito; and Eisenhower steaks — steaks dropped directly on top of red-hot charcoal — were on Byres' menu over the years.
His work at Smoke prompted him to write a cookbook called Smoke: New Firewood Cooking, which won him a James Beard Award in 2014.
"Smoke has shown me how to be the person I always wanted to become," Byres says in a press release. His style of cooking at Smoke has taken him around the world, literally, to share his cooking style with people in Haiti, Italy, Chile, Kyrgyzstan and China.
Byres has since teamed up with Stephan Pyles to help "casualize" upscale Flora Street Cafe.
Zielke, Byres and co-owner Chris Jeffers have been involved with many Dallas restaurants over the years. Bolsa in Oak Cliff remains open, as do Chicken Scratch and The Foundry in West Dallas. Jeffers and his team closed The Theodore (located in NorthPark Center) in July after he says "the sales weren't there."
Monte Anderson, who used to own the Belmont Hotel, says Smoke "was vital to the hotel becoming a sought-after destination" in a press release. Nearby, an unrelated development called Sylvan Thirty has since brought more restaurants to that part of West Dallas.